Updated: 27/09/16 : 06:27:40
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Tillage farmers need help – Harkin

Tillage farmers suffering great hardship in the parts of the country as a result of difficult harvesting conditions fully deserved to have an exceptional aid package specifically geared to offsetting their losses.

This was proposed by Independent MEP Marian Harkin following a meeting with grain farmers in Mayo/North Galway when she examined crops yet to be harvested in rain soaked fields.

“We have had the EU Exceptional Aid Package for the dairy and livestock sector and there is certainly full justification for similar aid to be provided for hard pressed grain producers along the western seaboard and other areas of the country which have suffered from exceptional rainfall”, she said.

While the numbers of farmers affected were small in number, their situation required specific action which, in the short term, had to come from the government, she suggested.  “This group of farmers cannot be left alone facing serious losses financially and significantly reduced ability to feed their stock over the winter”, Independent MEP Marian Harkin said.

She concluded:- “Teagasc is currently gathering information as to the number of farmers concerned and the financial cost to each farmer.  It is hoped to have this information within the next week and this can then form the basis for determining what type of package might be developed to help them.  When I have this information I will bring it to the European Commission and make the case for aid based on the fact that farmers in other EU countries including France, Germany and Belgium have experienced similar problems”..